Michael Thomas
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New York Giants safety Michael Thomas sat down with our own Jason Leach to discuss what it’s like to be a Giant and the upcoming season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—One of the key free agent acquisition that general manager Dave Gettleman made this offseason was signing veteran free agent defensive back Michael Thomas.

Thomas signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Stanford. He spent the entire season on their practice squad before they waived him in August 2013.

He was then signed by the Miami Dolphins in December 2013 and remained with them until he signed a two-year contract with the New York Giants in March of this year.

In his five seasons in the NFL, Thomas has started in 25 games, amassed 136 tackles (100 solo), forced two fumbles and came away with one interception. Not only has Thomas shown that he can be a productive safety in this league, but he has also shown that he is an exceptional special teams player, and that’s one of the reasons the Giants signed him.

Thomas has been solid in training camp working with the second team defense and on special teams. In one of the practices, he intercepted rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta.

After one of the team’s practices, Thomas spoke with me for a few minutes on what it’s like to be a Giant, and what he likes about James Bettcher’s defense.

JL: What’s it like to be a New York Giant?

MT: Man it’s different. Once everybody realized I was coming here, everybody was telling me congratulations you’re going to a great organization. The way staff treats each other, the way the organization treats the players is great, and that the organization is all about winning. Once I got here and saw it for myself I was like wow, this is what your NFL experience should be like. I look forward to proving my work and earn the respect of my teammates and the coaches to show them this is why they brought me here and I want to help my team.

JL: What specifically do you like about the defense?

MT: With coach Bettcher and his defensive schemes we have multiple looks and multiple guys doing different things, so it’s a huge opportunity for a lot of guys. I don’t want to make predictions but teams are going to have to deal with us. With this defense players are going to be put in situations to have success. This is the first time in my career where it’s going to be that way for me so I’m excited about it.

JL: What’s it like going against the talented receivers every day in practice?

MT: I love it going against this receiving core it’s obvious I don’t even have to mention the names because it’s self-explanatory. But to be able to go against this group every single day you only get better as a defender because you know you have to be ready for every single route, you have to be ready for their speed, you also have to be ready for the physical part because these receivers will come down and block. So I love going against them.

JL: Last year the team went 3-13, you weren’t here but do you get a sense your teammates that were here last year are looking to redeem what happened last year, or just to looking forward to 2018?

MT: Any person especially competing at this level or any level, when you don’t have success you come back out with a different mindset like that’s not going to happen again. So you come back with something to prove and you have a chip on your shoulder. So your sense of urgency is a little different. You mix that with a bunch of new guys coming in trying to prove themselves that are coming from other organizations that quite frankly probably weren’t as great as this organization from a historical standpoint. So when you mix all these guys in and those personalities and we all have a common goal and that’s to win, it’s built for success. So for us, it’s just coming out every single day and working hard. We know we have the right type of players; we got some dogs in here, so it’s all about putting it together.

JL: The defense seems like a real tight-knit group especially the defensive backs. Talk about the camaraderie with the defensive backs?

MT: It’s great we’re all rooting for each other, anytime someone makes a play we’re all cheering for them. We want to see each other do well because we know whoever makes it here, those are the ones we’re going to ride with on Sundays, and whoever doesn’t make the final roster here, we know that they’ll make plays somewhere else.

JL: What do you like to do when you’re not preparing for a game?

MT: I’m a father and a husband so obviously spending time with the family is important. But when I have free time I like to write, I’m really into writing. I write scripts for TV shows. I’m working on a few projects that are up and coming, and I’m also into doing freelance writing like articles.

JL: What’s your message to Giants fans about this upcoming season?

MT: First off the fans are great; it’s a great fan base. I could tell that just by how they came out and supported us in training camp. So my message to the fans is looking for this team to come out and compete hard every single game. We’re going to put ourselves in the best position to make plays and win. We have a great group of guys here and we’re working hard every single day.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.